Choosing the right brush to use with your Blake & Taylor Chalk Furniture Paint is really important to achieve the perfect finish. Everyone knows it is important to choose the right tool for the job and this means selecting the best brush for your Chalk Furniture Paint.
I have learned from past experience using a cheap brush will only leave you with disappointing results and the most annoying part is the bristles dropping in your lovely paint finish and then having to spend all that time picking them out!
There are 3 sizes in the Blake & Taylor range, 25mm and 50mm flat and a 25mm round brush. I like to use the 25mm flat brush for smaller pieces, cutting in and more intricate detail. The 50mm flat brush is perfect for larger coverage like a table top. The 25mm round brush is versatile. Some people prefer the shape in their hand of the round handle and like to paint exclusively with this. I personally like to use this brush for stenciling, as it is great for the stippling technique. I also like it for painting fabrics and I can even use it to apply the Blake & Taylor Wax.
One of the most important things to help your brushes last longer is to care for them properly. Here is my guide to caring for your brushes.
I find less is always more so never be tempted to dunk the whole of your brush into your paint pot. Working with too much paint loaded onto your paintbrush can be messy and can lead to thick brush marks. As a rule I like to apply paint to roughly the first third of my bristles. The further the paint creeps up your paintbrush the more likely it is to start drying as it is only really the tip of the brush that stays wet from dipping into the paint. Once the paint travels up the brush and starts to dry it can start to affect the paint finish and ultimately the condition of your brush.
Paint Drying Quickly
If you are working in particularly hot weather like we experience here in Brisbane you may find that your Chalk Furniture Paint begins to dry much quicker. Rather than giving my brush a quick rinse and then risk the paint being watered down if I don’t dry it properly (no one likes waiting for their brush to dry mid project, right?) I have another brush ready to go so I can keep painting straight away. I like to have two brushes rotating. This helps to keep my brushes clean and also speeds up my painting by not having to wait for brushes to dry. Once my first brush starts to feel cloggy I simply wash it, give it a good shake and leave it to air dry. I then have my second brush ready, all clean and fresh. By the time this one needs a clean the first brush is dry and ready to use again!
All my Blake & Taylor Chalk Furniture Paint, Chalk Furniture Paint and Clear Top Coat are water based so it makes cleaning and caring for your brushes very easy. Once you have finished painting place your brush into a bucket of warm soapy water. You can use cold water but I find slightly warm soapy water helps remove the paint easier and quicker. I like to use a gentle soap like sugar soap or even a little dish liquid. Give your brush a good swish around in the water and then rinse under the tap. You may need to repeat this process a couple of times depending on how much paint is on your brush, using fresh soapy water each time.
After washing and rinsing give your brush a good squeeze with an old cloth to absorb excess water. I then like to give my brushes a good shake to make sure no water gets stuck in the metal barrel. The best and quickest way to dry your brush is the hang them on the line from a hook through the hole at the bottle of the handle with the bristles facing down. This means any excess water you didn’t remove from shaking will drip dry. Alternatively you can dry them flat on a paper towel or cloth so the bristles keep their shape. Never place your paint brush to dry facing down into a pot. This might cause your bristles to become distorted and fan out. Because the Blake & Taylor brushes are synthetic the bristles dry quickly in warm weather.
We are all guilty sometimes of not keeping our brushes perfectly clean but here are a few tips to try and avoid having to throw them out.
If you are interrupted mid project by phone calls or you have to leave your project and come back to it later in the day you may want to try this cheat method and save washing your brush until the end. Grab some glad wrap or a small ziplock bag and wrap the bottom half of your brush. Secure it around the handle and then pop it in the fridge. This stops the paint drying and you can whip it out after and continue with your painting!
If you have not managed to keep on top of your cleaning and you find some of the outer bristles have started to get caked with dry paint you can always give your paintbrush a little trim and a haircut! I would only advise doing this for the odd one or two bristles; you certainly do not want to chop off huge amounts of bristles, as this would affect the paint finish and the end result.
I hope my tips have helped you.